Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

...Over the course of this project’s development, I have benefited from the conversation, advice, and support of many colleagues and friends. I would particularly like to thank Eduardo Cadava, Brad Evans, Scott Herring, Myra Jehlen, Walter Johnston, Jack Kerkering, Walter Benn Michaels, Steve Rachman, Guy Reynolds, Eric Santner, Leif Sorensen, Michael Warner, and Glenn Wilmott, each of whom in their own ways contributed to the substance and form of this book...

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Introduction: The Problem of Culture

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pp. 1-22

...In their recent survey of the state of literary studies, William B. Warner and Clifford Siskin argue that the time has come—as their title proclaims—for “stopping cultural studies.” For Warner and Siskin, the reason is straightforward: “culture is the problem with cultural studies” (104, emphasis in original). Before cultural studies, they claim, literary study struggled under the limitations of...

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1. Van Wyck Brooks and Edward Sapir: Divided America and the Form of Genuine Culture

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pp. 23-56

...This chapter sets the context for what I argue is the interdisciplinary debate over culture in early American modernism, and it lays out several key contours of that debate—contours that will in different ways in different disciplinary arenas structure debates within modernist anthropology, literary criticism, and “Americanist” canon reformation. Specifically, I reveal the way in which the interdisciplinary...

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2. Possessing Culture: Willa Cather’s Aesthetic of Culture in The Song of the Lark and The Professor’s House

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pp. 57-84

...Cather’s description of the “great cosmopolitan country known as the Middle-West” was less a contribution to a unifying vision of “these United States,” and more a description of a transnational, polyglot region defined by its differences from the rest of the country. Reflecting what I have been arguing are emerging modernist versions of cultural pluralism—articulated in various ways by humanist critics like Van Wyck Brooks, Randolph...

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3. Cultures, Canons, and Cetology: Modernist Culture and the Melville Revival

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pp. 85-135

...nineteenth-century definitions of culture as a general process of development or refinement intertwined with new competing definitions of culture as “whole,” “meaningful” ways of life. As American intellectuals struggled to come to terms with the rapid economic, technological, and social changes of the century’s first decades...

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4. Recovering the Whole: Culture, Region, and Poetry in the Literary Criticism of John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate

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pp. 136-180

...In his essay “Literature as Knowledge” (1941), Allen Tate tellingly begins his survey of recent semiotic and psychological theories of language not with a discussion of semiotics or psychology, but with a discussion of “culture”—specifically, the “Culture” of Matthew Arnold. Faced with “the accumulating body of the inert...

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Conclusion: Composing Critical Cultures

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pp. 181-194

...for American modernism between 1915 and 1941—a problematic that not only shaped the literary and other artistic compositions we think of as “modernist,” but also crucially shaped, in complexly parallel ways, the disciplines of anthropology, literary criticism, and American literary history as they emerged in their modern forms. As a problematic, or an orienting cluster of questions...

Notes

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pp. 195-218

Index

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pp. 219-227